Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Puzzle Cast

PostedAugust 5, 2012

Download File (mp3)

Anchor Lede: Casts immobilize broken limbs while they heal, but there’s usually collateral damage to healthy muscle that’s weakened by also being forced to sit idle.

Randy Atkins: An experimental cast would be custom-fitted in puzzle-like pieces held together by locking devices that doctors could detach at various stages of healing and…

Kelly Anderson: …by choosing which pieces they want to remove can allow your bones to stay immobilized as desired but let your muscles move in certain directions.

Randy Atkins: Kelly Anderson, a University of Virginia engineering student who co-invented the “PuzzleCast,” hopes this will increase blood flow, reduce soreness, and speed recovery for a wide variety of broken bones.

Kelly Anderson: Fractures have slightly different healing mechanisms and so you can customize it based on the particular type of fracture.

Randy Atkins: Anderson’s team is working with surgeons and physical therapists to perfect PuzzleCast. She says it could be available in a couple years. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.